Redesigning the Game

2015 Bond provides WFISD with new Career Center.

A set of new front doors, chromebooks in orange boxes, new parking lot at Memorial Stadium and additional building to Junior Highs. All this change originates from WFISD’s 2015 Bond, passed with a 57.82-percent approval by Wichita Falls voters.

The bond provides WFISD with funds for safety and security strengthening, technology improvements, Memorial Stadium repairments, and Junior High additions. However the majority of the $63.5-million bond goes towards a redesigning of standardized education via, the Career Education Center (CEC).

“It’s a building for the kids to come over to learn trades, or careers, to give more emphasis in that area. To allow them to discover if the trade or career is something they are wanting to do as a job or career later on,” student counselor for Rider, Mrs. Lauck, said.

The CEC is for anyone as the center will be shared by all high schools with study rooms and flex areas students can use to group together, talk, plan and relax. These areas will be technology friendly with charging docks and students will have access to a restaurant serviced by other students. Any intellectual property created by students belongs to the students and from a variety of classes, some will require advance classes like honors or AP.

“This add-on gives you the opportunity to really get into the areas that the student is interested in instead of just taking something to get the elective credit,” Lauck said. “This is to really help plan for college, or a career later on.”

The CEC offers students with the opportunity to receive licensing, certification, college hours and educational experiences that supports students in not only marketing themselves to universities, but also employers in multiple industries. Similar to choosing a college major, students will choose an endorsement that provides a ‘track’ of appropriate classes the student takes to achieve the previously stated rewards.

For example, a student choosing an architecture endorsement will take the following track- 9th Grade: Principles of Architecture (Prerequisite), 10th Grade: Architecture Design, 11th Grade: Interior Design, 12th Grade: Architecture Design II. As a result of taking this track, the student will have more experience and licensing as an Architect, Draftsman, Landscape Designer, or Interior Designer in both college and the workforce; than the high school graduate who didn’t attend the CEC.

“Everything is based on building a product. There’s classroom learning and then they move on to building. It’s kind of like a college, but also kind of education redesigned a little bit.” Coordinator of the CEC, Michelle Wood, continues. “Instead of looking at students who are college bound and who aren’t, this is giving everyone the same opportunities. How far you take it is up to you.” Wood said.

There are multiple forms of education, two of which are highly popularized in today’s system. The first form is Liberal Arts education, originating with grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, music and astronomy; this form of education has evolved to become the traditional education which follows the four core subjects; math, science, history and literature.

The second form is Vocational education, tackling a more physically applicable and technical approach by training the student as opposed to the theoretical analysis and verbal application visited in liberal arts. Many students can relate the Vocational form to Carrigan classes, but the CEC aims higher.

“Colleges are looking for those kids who are doing more than just getting good grades. The CEC wants to give everyone experience, something to try not in lieu of, but in addition to high school.”

Over the course of two years, there have been multiple adjustments to the GPA system to prevent students taking too many AP classes and partaking and what is dubbed, “The GPA Games” in which students compete for the highest GPA to get into the best class rank percentile by straining themselves with both necessary and unnecessary AP classes.

Providing students with licensing, certification, college hours and educational experiences that set them apart from the highly graded students, this addition not only prepares the students for college and life outside of school, but also allows the student to practice what they’re interested in with an educational application.

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